Category: Markets

113 posts categorized as "Markets"


Economic Fundamentals During Economic Recoveries

Case Study: Economic Fundamentals and Mid-Recovery Slowdowns The U.S. is amid a historic recovery, with U.S. GDP expanding at an eyewatering 4.3% (Q/Q SAAR) in Q4 2020 and 6.4% (advance number) in Q1 2021. While the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, substantial fiscal stimulus, and loose monetary policy have contributed to a substantially sunnier economic outlook…

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May 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

The Astor Economic Index® (“AEI”) improved slightly month over month and remains at a level indicative of strong fundamentals, reflecting very strong output measures across the U.S. economy, as well as declining jobless claim figures. The dip in the AEI from the second wave earlier this year has been mostly retraced as the U.S. recovers…

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April 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

Macroeconomic data has teased us for several months with the hope of a new spring, and the month of March has aptly enough delivered on that promise. Much of the nation has substantially eased lockdown restrictions as the pace of vaccinations pick up pace, and the near-term trajectory of the U.S. economy is on substantially…

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March 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

No news is good news, at least as the U.S. economy is concerned in its current state of slowly animating suspension. The Astor Economic Index has been range bound at a level approximating above average growth for several months and ended the month of February essentially unchanged. The labor market picked up some steam, with…

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Rob Stein Update on Inflation

As inflation expectations begin to accelerate and long rates begin to rise, I thought I would review my thoughts on inflation and rates from previous articles and the Outlook 2021. One of the basic definitions of inflation is “too much money chasing too few goods.” With the mailbox money from 2020 increasing money supply and…

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Rob Stein 2020 Review – ADA

Recording of Astor’s Q3 2020 call with CEO & Founder, Rob Stein. Rob Stein Q4 Review 2020 from Astor Investment Management on Vimeo.   AIM-2/18/21-VP307

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February 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

The theme in economic pundit circles during the month of January was short-term stagnation, and the Astor Economic Index certainly agrees, remaining essentially unchanged from where in began the year and in growth territory.  As in prior months, the economy remains under substantial restrictions that are trending broadly towards easing, and we expect to see…

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Astor’s 2021 Outlook

2020 is destined to become one of those years that will be remembered just by mentioning two digits, much like ’87, ’01, and ’08 have become synonymous with the events of each respective year. All someone will need to say is “remember ’20,” and we’ll know everything that number entails—from the pandemic to the presidency,…

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January 2021 Update on the U.S. Economy

With COVID-19 still spreading throughout the United States, the Astor Economic Index continued its weakening trend in the month of December, ending the quarter down from its peak several months ago but still well into solid growth territory. This month’s non-farm payroll came in about as expected with a loss of 140,000 jobs month over…

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2020 in Retrospect

Coming into 2020 the U.S. economy, as we measure it with the Astor Economic Index®, was growing about trend, though weaker than the pace of 2018. The U.S. consumer was the true pillar, with the unemployment rate sitting at 3.5%. U.S. Manufacturing had peaked in the second half of 2018, declining steadily through 2019 as…

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December 2020 Update on the U.S. Economy

As we have said before in this blog, as goes the pandemic, so goes the U.S. economy. The Astor Economic Index reflects this reality, ticking down in November from its 2020 highs, although still in solid growth territory. In November we noted that the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 and concomitant lockdowns would…

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Three Things That Will Matter in 2021

With the election behind us and increased visibility of life after the pandemic, I’ve had time to reflect on the economy, the markets and the impact of responses to the economic shut down. Economists often get stuck in the theoretical or the academic reasons for market movements and economies cycles, often missing “the forest for…

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Market Cap Trends – Q4 2020

• Mega cap stocks have driven domestic stock market performance, by in large, in 2020. Might that be changing? • Recent trends have seen changes in market segment performance such as small cap and value index performance • Visibility into a COVID-19 vaccine may support a broader benefit for stocks, not just a few concentrated…

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November 2020 Update on the U.S. Economy

The Astor Economic Index® (“AEI”) improved again in October, ending the month higher once again and at a level generally consistent with a strong economic state. Recall that the AEI is driven by changes in economic output, rather than the outright level, which we believe is more germane to the near-term trajectory for risk assets….

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Rob Stein Q3 2020

Recording of Astor’s Q3 2020 call, where CEO/Founder, Rob Stein discusses the current economic environment, gives an update on Astor’s portfolios, and holds Q&A. AIM-10/21/20-OP194

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Q3 2020 Economic Update

This year has had no shortage of twists and turns and the third quarter of 2020 has been no different. The end of Q3 provides an opportunity to look back at the path of the Astor Economic Index® (“AEI”) and our flagship Dynamic Allocation (“ADA”) strategy over the course of the past three months in…

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September 2020 Update on the U.S. Economy

With COVID-19 largely on the decline across the United States, and much of the economy returning to some semblance of normal, we have begun to see the rough outlines of the economic shutdown’s long-term impacts and implications for recovery. This blog has previously questioned the extent to which the shutdown would have persistent effects on…

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August 2020 Update on the U.S. Economy

The Astor Economic Index® has had a substantial improvement since the previous nonfarm payrolls report and is now at a level consistent with about average U.S. economic strength. Remarkably, this reading coincides with the AEI’s pre-COVID levels. As the chart below depicts, the AEI has effectively captured the twists and turns of the economy during…

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Rob Stein Q2 2020

Recording of Astor’s Q2 2020 call, where CEO/Founder, Rob Stein discusses the current economic environment, gives an update on Astor’s portfolios, and holds Q&A.

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July 2020 Update on the U.S. Economy

As the pandemic goes, so goes the United States’ economy. To the extent that public health measures move in lockstep with the pace of COVID-19, this month’s data reflects that reality. With restrictions easing in most states, macroeconomic fundamentals have improved accordingly. Of course, as epidemiological data shows, the pandemic is far from having run…

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